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SYFY WIRE The Sandman

NYCC: Sandman audio director teases ‘doing all of it’ as work continues with Neil Gaiman

By Brian Silliman
The Sandman (Audible)

The recently released audio adaptation of the classic graphic novel The Sandman is truly something out of a dream. The Audible Original only covers the first three volumes in Neil Gaiman's epic tale, but more seems likely. Going by what Gaiman and director Dirk Maggs said during today's panel as a part of New York Comic Con Metaverse 2020 (presented by Audible and DC), the next installment sounds like it could already be underway.

The panel, "The Sound of 'The Sandman' with Neil Gaiman and Friends," included Gaiman, Maggs, voice actor James McAvoy (Morpheus), and composer James Hannigan. It was moderated by Kevin Smith, who was quick to point out that Gaiman's epic tale has not been merely adapted into an audiobook — it is a true audio drama, fully produced, with a cast of 69 actors. 

When asked about their favorite issues of the series, Maggs was quick to say that "Midsummer Night’s Dream" (#19) was a favorite, and was also one of his favorites to adapt — it closes out the first volume of the audio drama. In terms of what other parts of the tale he was looking forward to creating, Maggs put it plain: “I’m looking forward to doing all of it.”

Though additional volumes of this audio drama have not gotten the official green light yet, it was a #1 bestseller and critically praised. So the outlook is good, especially if you consider the confident attitudes of Maggs and Gaiman.

“This is probably about one-sixth of the total thing we’re going to make..." Gaiman said, referring to the first volume. He did not say "hope to make" or "would like to make." Both writer and director talk like the work is already progressing. 

Gaiman also noted "the most exciting thing" for him is that the visually impaired community (and those who just can't get into comics) finally got to experience this story. He then added that when he's "looking at the rest" he has that in mind, mentioning how he's continuing to dig through very old scripts, sending them along to Maggs. 

Other panel highlights included Gaiman's original goals for the comic series. As he said, it "needed to be something that could take me anywhere." The entire panel (including Smith) agreed on how great "The Sound of Her Wings" (Issue #8) is, with McAvoy giving praise to Kat Dennings' performance as Death in the audio drama version of that tale. 

McAvoy also said that it was likely his work as Charles Xavier in the X-Men franchise that made Maggs think of him for Morpheus, as they were looking for the performance to be "almost classical." The panel then went through which character in the saga they all relate to the most, and McAvoy very much likes Death... but he's also keen on John Constantine. Smith was quick to point out that this was gonna raise some eyebrows with fans. 

As for Neil Gaiman? He said he relates most to Merv Pumpkinhead. 

Watch the full panel above, and be sure to check out the amazing audio experience available now. It's a dream come true for fans of The Sandman...and it doesn't at all feel like the dream is over. 

Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of New York Comic Con Metaverse 2020.